Food & Wine


    It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which means holiday cocktails will be in abundance. If you want to serve something away from the usual eggnog (which I personally find gross) then this round-up I compiled is just for you.


    1. Apple-Cranberry Ginger Ale Spritzer from Plating Pixels

    holiday cocktails
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    2. Candy Cane Vodka from Kleinworth & Co.

    holiday cocktails
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    3. Pumpkin Spice Moscow Mules from Pizzazzerie

    holiday cocktails
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    4. Santa Hat Martini from Oh My Creative

    holiday cocktails
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    5. Sparkling Pomegranate Christmas Cocktail from Happy Hour Projects

    holiday cocktails
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    6. Skinny Cosmo from The Pinning Mama

    holiday cocktails
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    7. Caramel Apple Sangria from A Night Owl Blog

    holiday cocktails
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    8. Cranberry Lime Mocktail from Simply Designing

    HOLIDAY cocktailS
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    9. Pumpkin Spice Martini from The Classy Chapter

    holiday cocktails
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    10. Pink Peppermint Russian from Kleinworth & Co.

    Holiday cocktails
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    Which holiday cocktails will you be mixing up this season?

  • How to Host Your Own Crafts and Cocktails Party at Home

    I recently attended a crafts and cocktails party hosted by the Crafty Lumberjacks at Freshmade in New York City. Founded by holiday enthusiasts Andrew and Dennis who met while traveling together on the National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof! The Crafty Lumberjacks mission is to bring D.I.Y. holiday decor ideas from their home to yours!

    I’m not crafty craftswoman by any means, but what I loved about the entire premise of the event was that you didn’t have to be. Yes, I was surrounded by artistic types that in no way made me feel self conscious. That’s how laid back and fun the event was. It allowed me to tap into my hidden creative side, without worry about what the person next to me was making.

    This particular crafts and cocktails event was Halloween themed and  came complete with everything you would need to create your spooky masterpiece. There was one small unpainted wooden house, one candle and one small skeleton.

    craft and cocktails

    And because you can’t be at Freshmade and not cook I had the opportunity to create my own chocolate covered pretzels. I don’t have a pic of those because I stuffed them in my face before I  could do so. But there were other treats.

    crafts and cocktails

    crafts and cocktails

    The event lasted from 7 to 9 and it was a perfect way to help me unwind.  If you’re in the area or they host one in your town I totally recommend going. You will have a blast!

    But what if you don’t live in the area and you can’t attend? Don’t fret – you can host your own! With holiday season upon us here are a few tips to help you plan your own holiday themed crafts and cocktails party at home.

    FYI: I also suggest getting a table cover to put down it will keep the paint off your furniture and make for easy clean up at the end.

    Once you have your supplies you can organize your friends for a potluck style gathering or you can buy simple finger foods like chips, dip and fruit/cheese platters. Oh, and don’t forget the wine and other cocktails.  It wouldn’t be a crafts party without it.

    *I was provided one complementary ticket to the Crafty Lumberjacks event for the purpose of this review. All thoughts are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


    MorningStar Farms is a staple in my home. My freezer is packed with various products from the Meatless Crumbles to the Garden Veggie Patties. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better…BOOM!…they come out with their new line of Veggie Bowls.

    These frozen meals are perfect those quick dinner nights minus the fast food unhealthiness.  There are nine different flavors to choose from. It’s pretty much a different bowl for every day of the week, with two extra . If that wasn’t enough, preparing them makes them so easy you won’t know what to do with all that free time you would normally spend cooking. Simply take the bowls out of the box, either bake it or toss it in the microwave and enjoy!

    morningstar farms

    Here are some fun facts about MorningStar Farms Veggie Bowls I was able to sample
    MorningStar Farms Japanese Soba Noodles: 100% vegan; combines a flavorful and authentic tasting blend of soba noodles,Veggie Steak Strips, edamame, snap peas, bamboo shoots, red pepper strips, julienned carrots, and green onions combined in azesty soy ginger garlic glaze. Nutritional information: 17g protein, 5g fiber, 14g whole grain, 3g fat and 240 calories.

    MorningStar Farms Moroccan Medley: 100% vegan; features a sweet and spicy blend of peppers, sweet potatoes, greenbeans and Chick’n Strips over couscous in a spicy Harissa sauce. Nutritional information: 11g protein, 5g fiber, 4g whole grain, 6g fat and 240 calories.

    MorningStar Farms Chik’n Tikka Masala: Bursting with a colorful and spicy blend of veggies in a savory tomato curry withauthentic spices, veggie Chik’n Strips, and a side of naan flatbread. Nutritional information: 17g protein, 9g fiber, 12g fat, and 340 calories.

    MorningStar Farms Italian Sausage Bake: Combines hearty layers of spinach, zucchini, Veggie Sausage Crumbles, chickpeasand mushrooms, combined with creamy béchamel and tomato basil sauces and topped with shredded mozzarella cheese. Nutritional information: 14g protein, 6g fiber, 11g fat and 240 calories.

    MorningStar Farms Chik’n Pot Pie: Packed with taste-of-home flavors from classic pot pie veggies and Veggie Chik’n Strips in acitrusy wine and herb cream sauce with a biscuit crust top. Nutritional information: 14g protein, 3g fiber, 15g fat and 330 calories.

    morningstar farms

    morningstar farms

    Keep in mind these are single serve bowls – no sharies!  They are a perfect choice for those who are mindful of their portion sizes. But if you’re a hungry gal like myself, then you can just add extra veggies or a handful of pasta. But what makes these bowls different from anything else on the shelf is how the taste and crunch isn’t lost because it’s a frozen meal. These bowls taste as if the MorningStar chefs prepared the meal in your kitchen. They’re that fresh, and flavorful.

    Wanna try one? Two? Or all? Visit your local market as they’ve just launched this week!

    *I received complementary packages of the new MorningStar Farms Veggie Bowls for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

  • 6 Quaker Old Fashioned Oats Recipes You Need to Try!

    Quaker Old Fashioned Oats mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Nothing, and I mean nothing gets my day started better than waking up before kids in order to enjoy a little bit of breakfast. While I consider myself a fly by the seat of my pants kinda gal, one thing has remained a constant in my life – Quaker Oats.

    As a child, my mom would prepare my almost daily bowl of Quaker Old Fashioned oatmeal, side of fruit and chocolate milk with a chalky Flintstones vitamin on the side. I ate this meal religiously, and happily. It was my favorite, and 30 years later Quaker Oats oatmeal is STILL a family favorite. It’s my quick yet healthy go-to meal for breakfast, and sometimes lunch and dinner.

    While we greatly enjoy flavors like Maple & Brown Sugar, Apple & Cinnamon to Raisins & Spice, there’s something about Quaker Old Fashioned Oats that feels like a warm bowl of home. But unlike my breakfast 30 years ago, there are ways of making something that’s already great, even better!

    So how does one take their Quaker Oats to the next level?

    It started when I felt the breakfast god’s smile down on me as I randomly received a shout out from Quaker Oats saying they wanted to send me a gift. I don’t know how they found me or why I was chosen. But, one thing was sure, I knew they were gonna send me my favorite food of all time, little did Quaker know, they hit jackpot when reaching out to me.

    Well, the joke was on me as that gift was more than what I had originally expected. First off, it was heavy. I thought it was several months supply, to which I would have been utterly grateful. But something more was in that box. There staring back at me was an old-fashioned wooden crate filled with two canisters of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, a ceramic mug, tote bag, a fancy decorative cloth napkin, two Quaker mason jars, a small spoon, eye mask and six recipe cards.

    Quaker Old Fashioned Oats

    It was a box of comfort food and ways to help me enjoy it. They did everything but cook it for me.

    While my entire family enjoys Quaker oatmeal this box of relaxation would be completely indulged by me. Well, most of it. Kids never let you fully enjoy everything. And since sharing is caring…

    Anyhoo, out of everything, it was the recipe cards that got me the most excited. They provided six new ways for me to enjoy my morning meal. They are super easy and take no more than 10 minutes to prepare. But the key was you prep them the night before giving you more time to enjoy it the next day.

    The next time you’re at your local grocer get some of these ingredients and try one or more of these single serving recipes for yourself.

    Summer Berry Overnight Oats

    1/3 cup Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
    1/3-1/2 cup of milk of choice
    1/3 cup mixed berries
    1 tbsp of chia seeds
    pinch of cinnamon
    1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt
    Pinch of kosher salt

    Once everything is mixed in one bowl and stirred place in the fridge overnight. In the morning top with something with crunch and something with healthy fats – like nut butter or nuts.

    Blueberry Banana Overnight Oats

    1/2 cup of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
    1/2 cup low-fat milk
    1/3 cup sliced bananas
    1/2 cup blueberries
    1 tsp of chia seeds
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 tbsp honey

    Combine oats with milk and vanilla. Add a layer of blueberries and banana slices. Top with chia seeds and drizzle honey. Refrigerate overnight enjoy in the morning.

    Pina Colada Overnight Oats

    1/2 cup Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
    1/2 cup low-fat milk
    1 tbsp honey
    1 tsp shredded coconut
    1/4 cup diced pineapples

    Make a foundation of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats and milk in a jar. Toss in honey, coconut, and pineapple and refrigerate overnight. In the morning top with almonds or something crunchy.

    Quaker Old Fashioned Oats

    Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

    1/2 cup Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
    1/2 cup low-fat milk
    1/4 cup sliced bananas
    1/2 tsp chia seeds
    1/2 cinnamon
    1/4 tsp vanilla extract
    2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
    1 tbsp honey

    Combine Quaker Old Fashioned Oats with milk, vanilla extract, chia seeds and cinnamon. Alternate between layers of peanut butter and layers of sliced banana. Drizzle honey. Place in refrigerator to soak and enjoy in the morning.

    Overnight Oats Banana Split

    1/3 cup Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
    1/3 cup of milk of choice
    1 tbsp chocolate nut or seed butter
    1 (or more) tbsp Quaker Real Medley’s Dark Chocolate with Almond Granola
    1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
    Sprinkle of cinnamon
    A drizzle of chocolate sauce
    Pinch of salt
    1 Ripe banana
    3 cherries

    In a jar or bowl, combine Quaker Old Fashioned Oats with Greek yogurt, milk, salt and cinnamon and allow to sit overnight. Mix the chocolate nut or seed butter with a few tablespoons of milk. Set overnight. In the morning assemble banana split by pouring overnights oat mixture onto the banana, and adding granola, chocolate sauce, and cherries.

    S’mores Overnight Oats

    1/2 Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
    1/2 cup low-fat milk
    1tbsp marshmallow
    1 graham cracker
    1 tbsp chocolate chips

    In a jar, mix Quaker Old Fashioned Oats with low-fat milk, and place in fridge overnight. The next morning, top off with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and graham cracker. Enjoy an old favorite snack inside, minus the campfire.

    For even more recipes visit the Quaker Oats recipe page.

    Which Quaker Old Fashioned Oats recipe are you gonna try?

    *The complimentary gift box I received from Quaker Oats included all items shown excluding the bowl. All thoughts are my own.